How much has world changed for securities sector?

How much has the world really changed?

When the Supreme Court of Canada meets this spring to consider whether the federal government can create a national securities commission, that simple question will form a key part of the legal debate in the case, wrote The Globe and Mail Feb. 23.

The supporters and opponents of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s controversial plan to create a new national regulator have now filed their submissions with the top court in preparation for a two-day hearing in April, and they show a stark difference of opinion about whether the federal government can claim authority over the securities sector.

The court has been asked to decide whether the Conservative government has the constitutional authority to move ahead with its planned legislation, not whether the creation of a national regulator is a good policy move.

York University constitutional law expert Patrick Monahan [also provost] says a central question emerging from the submissions is whether the federal government can use its constitutional powers over national trade and commerce as grounds for regulating the securities industry.

To do that, Ottawa must convince the court that the securities industry has become dramatically more national – even international – in recent decades and, therefore, fits the national nature of the trade and commerce category.

“I think clearly an important part of the argument is the nature of the capital markets and the increasingly national and international scope of capital markets,” Monahan said.

The recently announced stock exchange mergers should help to support the argument, Monahan says, offering further evidence that the traditionally local nature of stock exchanges has changed. “That will not be the last of those mergers – it is a reflection of the increasingly globalized nature of securities and of capital markets generally.”

Monahan said his reading of other decisions leads him to believe the top court has grown more flexible over the past 30 years in deciding what falls under trade and commerce powers. “It recognizes that the economy is an interconnected whole and you can’t divide up the economy into certain transactions within borders and other transactions that are completed within a province,” he said. “You have to look at more of a functional approach, I would say.”

Labatt ready to rumble over Molson-NHL deal

Labatt Breweries of Canada is getting prepared to drop the gloves over Canada’s national game, wrote The Globe and Mail Feb. 23. The beer maker says it may sue the National Hockey League after the NHL named Molson Canadian the “Official Beer of the NHL” as part of a blockbuster sponsorship deal with rival Molson Coors.

Labatt announced Tuesday it was planning legal action, not long after the NHL announced a “landmark” sponsorship agreement with Molson Coors in Canada and the US.

Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, said Labatt’s potential litigation only underscores the NHL’s marketing heft. “Law is part of marketing attack and defence. It does show you how serious the battle is for this ground…hockey, sports, beer is so central.”

RCMP has no policy for ‘kettling’ crowds, documents reveal

The RCMP, a key member of the Integrated Security Unit that policed Toronto’s G20 summit, does not practice “kettling” – one of the more contentious tactics used by security forces during the June weekend, when hundreds of people were penned on a downtown corner for hours in the rain, wrote The Globe and Mail Feb. 23.

Alan Young, of [York’s] Osgoode Hall Law School, said it should not come as a surprise that certain police forces don’t have policies on kettling. “I don’t find there’s much policy direction given to police. A lot of policing is done on what I call crisis management.”

Her mission is to serve meals that are environmentally sustainable and socially just

Seema Pabari is Toronto’s official tiffinwalla, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 23. Five days a week, the former marketing executive coordinates the preparation and delivery of up to 150 Indian lunches to downtown office workers with her company Tiffinday.

In India, about 5,000 tiffinwallas on foot or bike deliver around 200,000 lunches a day to cubicle workers in the capital of Mumbai for a nominal fee. The delivery system is geared to housewives who want to send hot lunches to their working husbands in the congested city.

Ilan Kapoor has the distinction of being Tiffinday’s first customer. And how appropriate, given Pabari’s mission of sustainability. He’s an environmental studies professor at York University and orders only when he works from his downtown condo. “For sure I’m your biggest fan,” Kapoor tells Pabari.

He lauds her reliability and authentic flavours, and later e-mails to commend Tiffinday’s social and environmental responsibility. “In these times of relative corporate greed and lack of adequate social and environmental responsibility, these are the types of businesses we should be supporting.”

Osgoode grad practised law in Welland

It was standing room only in the handsome church on quiet Chaffey Street, wrote The Welland Tribune Feb. 23 in an obituary for Wayne Anderson, 66. He graduated from [York’s] Osgoode Hall Law School in 1969 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1971.

On air 

  • Eileen Fischer, marketing professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about the pros and cons of CEOs being closely identified with their company’s brand, on Business News Network Feb. 22.
  • Imogen Coe, biology professor in York’s Muscle Health Research Centre and the Faculty of Science & Engineering, took part in a panel discussion about female enrolment in universities and their interest in studying science, on TVO’s “The Agenda” Feb. 22.